Coconut offering banned in famous Himachal temples

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Dharmshala, Sep 29 (UNI) The traditional offering of the sacred coconut has been banned in the famous temples in Himachal Pradesh, as the state machinery gears up with tightest ever security to ensure safety of pilgrims thronging various hill shrines during the Sharad Navratra beginning tomorrow.

''Police was taking no chances specially in view of the threats posed by terrorist organisations during such occasions and hence the ban on coconut offering inposed in the three temples -- the Brajeshwari Devi, Jawala Ji and Chamunda Devi temple has been imposed,'' Kangra District Police Chief Atul Fulzele said here today.

''Even the coconut carrying within the temple premises has been banned and all visitors would have to go through metal detector doors,'', he stressed .

Mr Fulzele said that bomb detection squads have been kept in readiness while 200 police personnels have been deployed within the temple premises at Jawalamukhi and 150 police persons each were deployed in Brajeshwari and Chamunda Devi temples to regulate pilgrim traffic and keep an eye on the anti-social elements.

A control room in each temple has been set up, entry points to the three temple towns have been sealed and barriers put up to verify vehicles before allowing entry.

The authorities this year removed all the encroachments in the temple complexes and temple bazaars and additional beds have been kept in readiness in local hospitals to meet any eventuality, he said.

UNI XC-JN MMS2039

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